Íse Murphy

Why I deleted WhatsApp

Unless you’ve been living in a cave disconnected from the internet (in which case I am envious of you), you will have seen the wave crashing in on the straw that broke WhatsApp’s back. We knew this was coming when Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, thinking they were taking the next level in world data domination.

Little did they know that by giving us this privacy ultimatum, it was the last straw and The People would finally say “that’s it”.

I get it, maybe you’ve been pondering if this is the time to finally delete WhatsApp, maybe you never had it, maybe you deleted it this morning or perhaps you wonder what all the fuss is all about right?

Over ten years ago, I paid for and downloaded an app called WhatsApp to allow me to text my dearest friends across the world without paying high text message charges. I can use 3G to text and send photos and it doesn’t cost me any more than I normally pay? — this is revolutionary!

This freedom I experienced grounded to a halt when Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.

For a product that doesn’t generate income but costs A LOT to run — that was a considerable amount of money for Facebook to pay.

So of course they want bang for their buck, right?

How were they going to do that when our messages are end to end encrypted?

The answer lies within the answer — only our messages are encrypted. Everything else like phone number, contacts, IP addresses, location, photos, usage data, diagnostics, you name it, are up for grabs and can be connected to their sister companies Facebook and Instagram.

I was not happy with where this was going.

But all is not lost. For years I thought I was falling victim to this surveillance capitalism and there was nothing stopping this train. Today I smile knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel (forgive the locomotive puns).

For we are not victims and do indeed have the power to change even the biggest beasts.

My decision to delete WhatsApp is far greater than being concerned with privacy. It’s far more than inconveniencing friends and family. It’s far more than putting the finger to Zucks.

It’s about making a statement to the institution, to all institutions, especially the ones that believe they are “too big to fail”.

It’s telling them that we, the people, in fact do have the power.

No one is too big to fail and we are seeing evidence of that in the macro with the presidential power collapse in the United States.

Karma is real folks. It’s defined by Newton’s third law of motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Every action made by these big powers we believed were too big to fail is now rebounding on them.

This experience of the WhatsApp revolution demonstrates that individually, we do have power.

We have the power to make change.

We have the power to make an impact.

We have the power to delete an app from our phone. It may seem insignificant on a micro level but on a macro level we are sending a message to Facebook that we are not for sale, and reminding The Institution of the power of the people.

As we individually make a decision, collectively we make impact.

The revolution against WhatsApp is so powerful an example of the power you hold in your hands.

You are the change you want to see in the world.

Believe it.

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